How to Measure the ROI of Your Event Marketing Campaigns

“Was it a successful event?” can be one of the hardest questions for marketers, sales professionals, or business owners to quantify. Whether you’re sponsoring a tradeshow, marketing, or hosting a VIP gathering for your customers, it can be difficult to track the impact of the event. Many times, the impact may not be immediately measurable. In some cases, a company might not have the right tools or resources to measure ROI. Despite these challenges, businesses and nonprofits need to measure the ROI of their events.

At Green Apple, we’ve had the opportunity to plan and execute dozens of events for clients over the years, and we know that measuring the ROI of an event can be somewhat ambiguous. As challenging as it may be, finding a way to evaluate your efforts is equally important to help you understand the effectiveness of your event marketing efforts and make necessary improvements in the future.

4 Keys to Measure the ROI of Your Event Marketing Campaigns  

Here are four important best practices for measuring the ROI of your event marketing campaigns: 

Define ROI, Objectives, & KPIs

Every event has unique goals, and these translate into specific KPIs. For example, a product launch event might focus on lead generation, while a milestone celebration aims at enhancing brand loyalty. The first step to evaluating the ROI of an event is to identify KPIs that align with the event’s purpose and tailor your measurements accordingly.

We’ve added a few potential KPIs below that can be used to track the right metrics based on what you’re hoping to achieve.

Identify Pre-Event Goals, Monitor and Adjust Expectations Accordingly 

The overall success of an event is dependent on numerous factors — many of which occur before the event happens. For example, the number of people who RSVP will dictate the number of leads you generate. If you want to measure the impact of your event, you need to know where you started. Collect relevant data before the event, such as RSVPs and registrations, media interest, and email opens and click-through rates. This baseline will help you quantify changes post-event.

Measure Event Success with a Variety of Metrics

An event can have multiple goals. That’s why it’s important to use a variety of metrics to get a comprehensive view of your event’s success. You should prioritize 2-3 key goals for the event. This will help you determine which metrics are most important to track. It will also provide a more comprehensive perspective on the overall success of the event to determine the ROI and make necessary improvements for future events. 

Gather Qualitative Feedback in Addition to Data

The qualitative feedback — from attendees and your internal team — is also a valuable asset when evaluating ROI. Set aside time for all of the stakeholders to conduct a post-mortem after the event. You can also collect feedback from the attendees through surveys, interviews, and social media analytics. The feedback they offer can help you understand what they liked and disliked about the event so that you can identify areas where you can improve in the future.

Possible KPIs and Metrics to Measure Your Event Marketing Campaign

With these best practices in mind, here are some various KPIs and metrics you can use to measure the ROI of your event marketing campaigns based on your overall goals and objectives: 

Lead Generation and/or Conversion

For events with lead generation goals, track the number of new leads acquired during and after the event. Be sure you have a process to follow these leads through your sales funnel and calculate the conversion rate. 

Metrics to Consider: 

  • Follow Up Meetings
  • Specific Leads 
  • Conversion Rate (compared to other tactics)
  • Upsell or Cross-Sell Opportunities 
  • Follow Up Engagement 
Customer Loyalty & Delight

For events aimed at retaining existing customers or enhancing customer loyalty, a significant increase in repeat business can be attributed to the success of your event. This can be measured by gathering feedback from attendees or identifying any new business conversations that arise from an event. 

Metrics to Consider: 

  • Number of Attendees
  • Customer Feedback / Surveys
  • Social Media Mentions & Engagement
  • Upsell or Cross-Sell Opportunities 
  • Loyalty Program Sign Ups 
  • Post-Event Content Consumption
  • Referral Metrics 

Here’s one of our favorite tools for gathering customer feedback

Media Exposure & PR Impact

For PR-focused events, you want to monitor media coverage and mentions. Any surge in positive media attention is valuable, but it’s important to measure the increase in media exposure and compare it to your baseline. 

Metrics to Consider: 

  • Media Mentions & Coverage
  • Press Release Metrics 
  • Impressions & Reach
  • Influencer Engagement
  • Online Visibility (Digital & Social Media Reach / Interactions)
  • Post-Event Coverage

Eliminate the Guesswork of Event Marketing

Defining how you’re going to measure your return on investment is one of the most important best practices for event marketing. With a clear plan, strategic KPIs, and a commitment to learning from each event, you can transform anecdotal feedback into measurable success.

At Green Apple Strategy, we’ve honed these practices through our extensive expertise, creating unforgettable experiences through event marketing with quantifiable impact. 

We invite you to check out more best practices for event marketing or reach out to our team if you need help planning and executing an event that is a worthwhile investment for your business.

How to Harness the Power of Storytelling in Event Marketing

Let’s be honest… it takes a lot of time, attention, and energy to plan and execute an event. The last thing you want is to waste your resources on an event that falls flat. After planning and executing dozens of events for clients over the years, we’ve learned some of the most important best practices for creating an effective and unforgettable event. Harnessing the power of storytelling is one of the foundational pillars of effective event marketing.   

Building your event around a compelling story is beneficial for several reasons. It makes promoting your event easier by creating a more intriguing hook for guests or media outlets. It unlocks creative ideas and opportunities to engage attendees. It is easier to promote, and it creates a more memorable experience for attendees. Ultimately, it enables you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

How to Harness the Power of Storytelling in Event Marketing

Here are some specific tips and ideas that marketers can use to harness the power of storytelling in event marketing:

Start with a Strong Story

The first step is to come up with a strong story that will resonate with your audience. You need to decide on the core idea behind your event. The “story” of your event should be relevant to your brand, your values, and your overall blueprint for your brand story.

Here are a few questions to consider: 

  • What is the overall purpose of the event? What messages or emotions do you want to convey to the attendees?
  • What are the core themes or ideas associated with your brand or organization?
  • Are there any key moments or events in your company’s history that could be used to tell a story?

Make it Personal for Your Audience

Helping your audience see themselves in the story is an important factor. The events that resonate the most are ones that allow you to connect with the audience on an emotional level. When your attendees can see themselves in the story, they’re more likely to remember and enjoy the event.  

Creating an event that resonates with your audience can be challenging because so much of your attention is focused on your marketing goals. Taking time to ask these questions can help create an event that personally resonates with attendees: 

  • What is the target audience for the event? What are their interests and pain points?
  • What could make it a must-attend experience for your target audience?
  • How can you improve their experience or their life through the event.

Engage All the Senses

Visuals can be a powerful way to tell a story, but it’s equally important to think beyond visuals and incorporate elements that appeal to sight, sound, touch, taste, and even smell. In the iconic words of Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message.” The way you deliver your story determines its impact on your participants, so have fun with it! 

Here are a few ways you can create an “immersive experience” that supports the story you want to tell:

  • What emotions do you want attendees to feel during the event? 
  • How can you evoke these emotions using sound and lighting design or visual elements?
Real-World Examples of Storytelling in Event Marketing

Over the past few months, we’ve been able to design and implement several event marketing strategies for our Green Apple clients. Here are some examples of how storytelling has been used in their event marketing plans:

The Skylight Grand Opening Event: Sip & Sample 

After months of renovation, The Factory at Franklin wanted to create an opportunity for guests to explore the reimagined space and celebrate the grand opening of The Skylight—the new bar at The Factory at Franklin. We designed an event called Sip & Sample that highlighted The Skylight’s narrative of being a space for the community. We brought together new and current vendors of The Factory and invited the community to join us for this exclusive grand opening event.  

Crain Construction’s 90th Anniversary Celebration

Known for building relationships and structures that last a lifetime, Crain Construction wanted to celebrate their 90th anniversary alongside team members, former employees, customers, and industry partners who supported their growth over the years. By hosting the event at Prancing Horse of Nashville Ferrari Dealership—one of their most recent projects—we were able to create an immersive experience that celebrated the past while generating excitement for the company’s future. 

United Communication’s Project UNITE Celebration

United Communications is a local internet company making tremendous strides in providing high-speed internet access to rural communities across Middle Tennessee. They came to Green Apple Strategy looking for a way to celebrate a state-funded grant for their Project UNITE initiative. Every aspect of the event, including the location, speaker list, and food choices, was designed to demonstrate the company’s commitment as a local provider.

Let Green Apple Plan Your Next Event

Special events are a powerful tool that can be used to enhance your marketing goals. If you’re ready to develop a compelling story or theme for your upcoming event, ensuring a memorable and impactful experience for your attendees, we’d love to talk. Reach out to us for a consultation.